Forgive me for having not been here in a while. Hiatus has been due to reasons best known to the writer. Thanks for staying faithful readers.
I arrived downstairs in a flash. It was as if I could literally speed through time. A car was already waiting for me with Kole in it and cops were already scrambling into two other vehicles behind me. I made a hand sign to them which meant, ‘follow me’ and walked to the driver’s door of my car. Kole was already in the driver’s seat.
“Move Kole. I’m driving” I smiled to him.
Kole shifted over the hand brake into the next seat as I jumped into the driver’s seat, swung the car to action and started to pump the gas into it. I swung into the driveway, then onto the road, with the police vehicles still behind me.
“You mind telling me what’s going on?” Kole asked.
With a smile again, I replied. “Kole, I can’t believe I’ve been such a fool. The answer had been right in front of us all right from the start. We had the killer in our hands”
“Tell me about it”, he eagerly asked
“Everything’ll be open to you in a minute”. I was happy I had the edge here. I drove through traffic with the police escort till I reached a building familiar to all of us, Hex Technologies. I pulled over and started for the door. I ordered two cops to come with me and two others to stand guard outside. I flashed my badge and the security let us in without hassle. We reached the elevator and I punched in the 23rd floor
“Chris, I’m at a loss here”, Kole began, “are you explaining or not?”
With a smile, I began. “Okay. What was the deductions we made from the fibers that was recovered from Dr. Hammond’s body?” I asked.
“That they were from a very expensive material, and the user should have been a well-funded assassin”
“Great. I was chased after I left Hex Tech the other day. No one knew I got anything from the building and left, but still the information got out, didn’t it?”
“That’s also true”
” The first interrogation of Ms. Cole, what did you remember her saying about Dr. Hammond?”
“That he started to act weird about two months ago, and even recruited a lab help, even though he loved to work alone”
“And from the reports Kate sent to you, when did chatter about the chemical start to pop up on security channels?”. I was starting to grin broadly now.
“Two months ago also. Is there a pattern here I’m not seeing?”
“Yeah. The lab help, Kay, told me what happens in the lab stays in the lab. She also was underqualified to have been a lab help to a prestigious scientist like Dr. Hammond, yet she was employed. Her employment came two months ago, when Dr. Hammond was sent the threat call, and I assume she was there to keep an eye on him. She was the only person aware that I left the building with Dr. Hammond’s personal effects, cos I didn’t clear with security. She could have been well funded cos of the organization she works with, and she pointed me in the direction of the managing director just so as to throw the scent off her trail. She’s our murderer”
Kole paused for a second. “Chris, don’t you think your thirst for netting someone might have blinded you a little?”
“How, my friend?” I asked with a knowing tone.
“The leads. You have no solid evidence to nail her”
“Actually, I do. Four months ago, we received updates that Sarah Fowler, popular terrorist’s courier arrived in Nigeria. We got her picture this morning from the French Agency. It matched with that of our lab help here. She’s been posing here all along”.
Kole stared at me with admiration. “You are good, mi’partner, really good”
“I know, right. I’m genius”. I let out a big laughter, my first in many days since the beginning of this case. The elevator clocked 23 and hissed open. We all charged forward for the lab. I had no trouble finding it since I’ve been there before. I kicked the door open, weapon drawn and proceeded cautiously into the room.
“Hello” I screamed, my voice bouncing off the beautiful white walls and back at me, “Kay, are you here?”
She responded my question with multiple shots from what’s unmistakably a sub machine gun, standard military issue. A bullet missed me by only a few meters as I could feel it wheeze by my ear. The four of us took cover behind anything solid we could find as she kept on firing, and we returning cover fire.
“Kay, surrender now. We have all exits covered. You’re not going to get out of this”
“You’re bluffing” she replied, “you have only two cops outside. I’ll take care of you four easily and my people would come get me. Its you I’ll ask to surrender”. She launched into another round of sporadic shootings. I saw we had to act fast or get fried. I mouthed to the two cops with us to give cover fire. I gave Kole another directive to go around the back. I made sure Kole was some distance away before I joined in the shooting again, this time, I was surging forward, occasionally shielding myself with anything I could find. Glass was shattered everywhere already. There was cease fire for a moment and I crept around quietly, looking for Sarah, weapons drawn. I had just walked a bit more when I made a mistake and stepped on glass. It creaked and like a cat, she leapt out behind me.
“Drop your weapons, detective”.
I had no way out. The other cops I came with were already a safe distance behind me but couldn’t get a clear shot at her without hitting me.
“And ask them to lower their weapons too” she continued.
I signaled to the men to lower their weapons, same thing I did, and we all had our hands above our heads.
“Why re you doing this, Sarah?” I asked, trying to stall.
“Oh, you ask? Your country is rich in oil. Attacking it and putting the blame on Iran, another country rich it oil, would spark up a huge war. That multiplies profits for the hugest oil dealers. That’s what I gain from it”
“You don’t have to do this, Sarah. Think of all the people that’ll die”, I pleaded
“No, you don’t understand. They’re acceptable losses. Right when I’m done with you all, I take my merchandise to my bosses, and I get enough money to make me disappear and retire”
I was happy for a second. She still had the briefcase containing the gas sample with her.
“I must say, detective”, she continued, “you really are smart to have deduced its me, but you were a fool to under estimate me and bring only a few people to capture me”
“I was nearly fooled by your fake compassion when you heard of Hammond’s death”
“Yeah. That’s in my line of work. So, before I kill you”, she cocked her pistol, “any last wishes?”
“Actually, yeah”, I said, noticing some stealthy movement behind her, “I want my handkerchief back”
She was just about to pull the trigger when Kole flung himself at her, knocking her down and jabbing the gun out of her hands. Immediately, I picked my gun and the cops followed suit.
“Ms. Sarah, you are under arrest. Your crimes would be read to you at the office. You’re advised to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in the court of law”
Kole slapped some handcuffs on her wrists and pulled her up, dragging her away. I stopped her midway and whispered to her “I never underestimated you. I’m the best at what I do, and my people, are the most efficient”. She shrugged and I gave a low satisfied growl. On the far table before me lay the briefcase, which I believe holds the biological gas.
I stepped out of the building, rode the elevator downstairs to meet the familiar blue and red lights of more than a dozen police vehicles. Nearly my entire unit was there. Even workers of the building who were confused as to what’s going on peeped from the window. Looking at them all, I felt relieved. Another case closed. Now I can have my vacation.
Till McLaw called me again…